Russia report will be released ‘next week’

Boris Johnson at a news conference inside 10 Downing Street. Photograph: Simon Dawson/PA.

Boris Johnson at a news conference inside 10 Downing Street. Photograph: Simon Dawson/PA. - Credit: PA

The Intelligence and Security Committee has agreed it will publish its eagerly anticipated report on Russia before parliament rises for the summer next week.

The newly formed committee, chaired by Julian Lewis, has reconvened and agreed the report will be published before MPs break for summer.

Earlier the former Tory head of the intelligence committee Malcolm Rifkind told the Today programme that it would be published in a matter of days.

He added: 'We should have seen it seven months. It's absolutely absurd. It had already been vetted by No 10 for any aspects of national security that couldn't be published.

'Dominic Grieve … who is the author of the report has said publicly and has said to me privately there is absolutely nothing in the report that justified withholding it.'

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During the interview Rifkind blamed Boris Johnson's 'incompetence' for picking Chris Grayling as his choice for committee chair.

MORE: Dominic Grieve lifts the lid on why the Russia report still hasn't been released

'I think the prime minister is the author of his own misfortune,' Rifkind said, adding it was 'ridiculous' for the government to protest the choice.

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'The idea of using the whips to try and force Conservative members to vote for a particular candidate goes totally against the way in which the committee has – under statute – operated since it began,' he continued.

Speaking about the plot, to install Chris Grayling as chair, in a barbed reference to Dominic Cummings, he said: 'If it had succeeded, that destroys the whole purpose of the intelligence and security committee.'

'Whoever is advising him deserves to be stripped of their responsibility at this very moment.'

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